Make the Most of your Opportunities

Stacey Hood came and talked to our class last week. Stacey i she marketing director at Stewart Perry Construction Company here in Birmingham. Stacey is a very interesting guy who has an interesting background. After getting a degree in PR from UAB, stacey went and played soccer in Northern Ireland. Stacey then started a company called worldsoccershop.com. Stacey also worked for a company in Atlanta where he fixed and repaired mustangs. Stacey is in charge of writing contracts and maintining stewart perry’s company website. Stacey gave us some great advice about getting jobs in public relations.

1. Work on writing and never stop. You to always write and constantly get better at it everyday if you want to work in pr. You can do that by blogging, writing practice press releases, or even writing articles for a newspaper.

2. Think outside the box. Everything is in opportunity . Keep your eyes and ears open all the time. Always think that google is your friend.

3. Don’t get locked into something. Learn the box and think outside of it. Come up with new ways to do things. Be different.

4. Always be reading and researching- read blogs,twitter, magazines and other things to keep yourself informed of trends in pr. They may also inform you about new things that are being done in pr.

5. Get Twitter and use it. Twitter has become the #1 search engine in the world. Use it to connect with people in the public relations world. Engage and have discussions with people on twitter it may help you land a job someday.

Here is a link to Stacey’s website http://staceyhood.com/

 

Memorable advice

Stacey Hood gave simple, but noteworthy advice to those hoping to break into the PR and advertising world…and it all boiled down to being memorable. Stacey’s own story was pretty memorable. For a while he played soccer in Northern Ireland, where his family is from. But making the jump into PR was a natural move for Stacey, after all, he explained, he came from a family of great, expressive, storytellers. And that’s where his advice came in: breaking into PR and staying in PR requires the mind of a good communicator and the heart of a lively storyteller.

 

Today Stacey is Director of Marketing for the eco-friendly construction company Stewart Perry. And their company blogs are the perfect example of a new and memorable approach to reaching their audience, one for example being Raising Grundy. Throughout his career in the PR world, at various capacities and at various companies, Stacey has acquired some memorable tips we were lucky enough hear.

 

 

 

1. Content it vital. Never forget that the info you are communicating, in any form, needs to touch the hearts and minds of viewers. If you can manage to do that they will remember you and will come back.

 

2. Never stop writing. Never stop learning. Never stop thinking. If you ever stop doing any of these things someone else will, some other PR team will, some other company will, and then you aren’t so memorable any more. Learning just can’t finish with your degree.

 

3. Bring your own influences. Everyone is bringing their own backgrounds, their own perspectives, their own influences to the table. Good teams have diversity in members and therefore well-roundedness in their campaigns and messages. Your influences are unlike anyone else’s, using them will make you unique and implementing them into your work will make you memorable.

 

4. Use your tools. Google is your friend, ‘cause sometimes you gotta learn as you go! Read blogs—there is a wealth of information on them! Use twitter it’s the #1 search engine right now! Knowing how to use these tools, and knowing how to reach your audience through these tools will make followers remember you. *(side note, I think this is the part where I got called out for not being a “believer.” A twitter believer that is. Kinda cracked me up but also kinda got me thinkin’… so thanks Stacey!)

 

5. Go big or go home. Okay so maybe Stacey didn’t quite phrase it like that, but in an effort to encourage us to go “outside the box” without using the over used phrase “outside the box” Stacey challenged to think differently. Sure we have to know the rules to break them, as Dr. Martin chimed in, but once you have that working understanding of PR take it somewhere else. Take an idea somewhere where no one else would take it, think to take it, or dare to take it … memorable. big time.

Opportunity is Everywhere

Our PR class had the pleasure of learning from local PR practitioner Stacey Hood. Hood works for Stewart Perry Construction, a company which specializes in green building.

Hood is very knowledgeable and clearly loves what he does. Thankfully, he shared a bit of his wisdom with us.

1. Own who you are. Where you’re from will influence your views and ideas. You’re perspective will be different from others on your team, so don’t be afraid to add your ideas to the mix.

2. Think Big. Never stop learning. Read blogs and twitter feeds to be up on the latest trends. Keep your mind open so that you don’t get stuck where you are.

3. Everything is an opportunity. Pay attention to what’s going on around you.

4. Whip your writing into shape. You must be able to tell a story in a way that brings your audience back again and again. Engage your audience. The more you write, the more you’ll be able to see opportunities.

5. Don’t be afraid to network. If you can’t network in person, get on twitter. Don’t be afraid to tweet back and forth with professionals in the field. You never know when a twitter relationship could lead to an internship or job interview.

Stacey Hood: Being the Good Guy but not a Tree-Hugger

Stacey Hood of Stewart Perry in Birmingham came to speak to our “Principles of PR” class a few days ago.  He explained Stewart Perry’s vision as a company to make construction sites as “green” as possible by recycling, reusing, and reducing the waste at their job sites.  While Hood says he is not a “tree-hugger”, he does believe in the company’s mission and says that they are trying to be “the good guys”.  He said that, at Stewart Perry, they believe in giving customers a reason to come back by touching both the heart and the mind.

Hood gave many helpful hints and good advice for students looking to go into PR:

1) Continue to work on your writing.

-The more you write, the more opportunities you will see.

2) Thing BIG.

-Get outside the box, keep learning and thinking.

-Google is your friend!

3) Blog.

-Engagement is key.

-Hood says, “It’s the ‘good ol’ boy’ put online!”

4) Make the best of every situation.

The last and possibly most important thing that I learned from the day was not from our speaker, but from our professor Dr. Sheree Martin.  As Hood was mentioning the importance of getting outside of the box, Dr. Martin said something that I had never considered.

5) “You gotta know the rules to break ’em.”

-Dr. Martin emphasized the importance of learning what the box is (that is, the rules, guidelines, and basic structure), and then moving beyond what you know so that what you do will be extraordinary.

I thought this was an interesting point that I had never heard.  Most people emphasize the importance of “getting out of your comfort zone” and “going above and beyond”.  And, while she agreed, she also stressed the significance of knowing what the boundaries are so that you have the ability to push the limits.

This is just what Stewart Perry has done.  With innovative thinking and a passion to better the world around them, Stewart Perry is committed to doing things the right way while building repetitive customer relationships.

Think. Big.

Stacey Hood, the unofficial Director of Marketing for the Stewart Perry Company visited our class Friday to add more to our notes of knowledge from past speakers. The work that he does focuses on keeping the Stewart Perry Company Green as they do construction in the birmingham area. Here are a few things Mr. Hood shared with our class…

1) You need to be remembered.                                           

– Make an impression on your audience in whatever ay you can. You have to get noticed if you want people to take interest in your product. That is the PR lifestyle.

2) Utilize social networks.

– Get on Twitter and Facebook. It is the easiest place to connect with people that are at the top of their game in the PR world. Not just connect with but learn from the things they are doing and the habits they have.

3) Use you skills.

– Just because you think you are a good writer doesn’t mean you can stop writing until someone needs you. Practice, practice, practice… and then practice some more.

4) Keep it fresh.

– Change things on your site often. Keep it new and never boring. Give your consumers new things to explore when they visit the site and make it fun.

A final piece of advice would be to keep an open mind and think BIG. Go the extra mile and be great at what you do.

Be engaging.

Stacey Hood, the unofficial director of marketing for Stewart Perry, calls himself sarcastic. Hood has 2,152 followers on Twitter. Who knew sarcasm and popularity went hand in hand? In other words, Hood has great advice on how to use social media tools, such as Twitter, for networking.

Stacey Hood (left) and Chris Brogan, president of Human Business Works.
  • First and foremost, GET ON TWITTER. Create a username and use it to your advantage. Where else can you meet and greet with PR professionals at the touch of your fingertips? . . . literally.
  • Look for opportunities, even on Twitter. For example, InternQueen, also known as Lauren Berger, tweets available internships daily, as well as great tips to nail the job of your dreams.
  • Stay updated. Hood recommends blogs. By choosing a few blogs to follow, you are learning from another perspective. Sometimes, this can even keep you informed on current events.
  • Additionally, practice. Coming from a soccer coach, Hood says if you don’t use it, you will lose it. When it comes to writing, you can’t do it enough.
  • “There is never a stupid question. You’re stupid for not asking it.”

Follow Hood on Twitter—@StaceyHood or check out his blog. Also, more information can be found on Stewart Perry here.

A little Irish wisdom

Stacey Hood is the unofficial Director of Marketing for the Stewart Perry Company.  He shared that the Stewart Perry brand focuses on staying green while running a successful construction company in the Birmingham area.  Cool as a cucumber, this Irish paddy with a Public relations degree from UAB gave a few tips to blooming PR students on how to flourish in the field.
  • Stay on top of your brand.  Constantly develop new content.  Keeping your website fresh will entice an audience to come back and view it more often, and then more views you get the more publicity you’re getting as well, and with publicity comes popularity.
  • If you don’t use it you will lose it so stay on top of your skills. Practice writing on a weekly (at least) basis. Blog blog blog (duh.)
  • NETWORK. Meet, greet, and dazzle contacts from every walk of the PR life.  This will again keep advancement opportunities readily available.Be willing to work any area on the PR spectrum. Openness and availability will allow for more advancement opportunities. Don’t shut doors on yourself.
  • Keep updated in the PR world.  Your own brand is your focus but don’t tune out others. Follow blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. that you’re interested in and learn from others.  This will keep you at the top of the game.
  • Be willing to work any area on the PR spectrum. Openness and availability will allow for more advancement opportunities. Don’t shut doors on yourself.

For more on Stacey visit his Blog or to find out more about the Stewart Perry company visit their website!